Friday, November 27, 2009

Alton Brown's Baked Brown Rice to the Rescue

As much as I like the flavor and chewiness of it, I've mostly avoided cooking brown rice.  I just don't like feeling strapped to the stove for 45 minutes to an hour, making sure it neither boils over or scorches. I usually ended up serving it before it was really done or adding too much water, resulting in a mushy mess.

But I needed brown rice to go under the vegetarian curry to serve my non-carnivorous friends. So, to the internet to find an easy and fool-proof way to make brown rice, one that needed little or no attention as the rest of the last minute Thanksgiving dinner preparations were underway.

Alton Brown's baked brown rice recipe to the rescue! For once I followed the recipe pretty closely with the exception of using olive oil rather than butter to avoid animal products for my vegan friend. I just made another batch using butter to go under tonight's leftover turkey & gravy. Yummy.

My method varies from Alton Brown a teeny bit, for example, using the microwave to heat the water in the dish I will cook the rice in.  You need steady hands to get the shallow dish of hot water out of the microwave without sloshing. So use your best judgment and avoid getting scalded!

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In an 8-inch square glass baking dish, microwave the water, butter or oil, and salt until hot.
  3. Stir to assure the salt is fully dissolved.
  4. Add the rice and distribute throughout the pan.
  5. Cover tightly with foil.
  6. Bake for one hour.
  7. Remove foil and fluff the rice.
No watched pot.  No boiling over. No clumping.  Just perfect brown rice. 

Thank you, Alton!  Brown rice will now be a frequent player in my cooking!

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    Imprecise & Inexpensive

    Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.